Do As I Say Not As I Do: A Look at the Steroid Hearing

Chris Murphy@@SeeMurphsTweetsAnalyst IJune 18, 2009

WASHINGTON - MARCH 17:  U.S. Rep Tom Davis (R-VA) (L), Chairman of the House Committee on Government Oversight, listens to U.S. Rep. Henry A. Waxman (D-CA) during a hearing investigating steroid use in baseball on Capital Hill March 17, 2005 in Washington DC. Major League Baseball Commissioner Allen 'Bud' Selig will give testimony regarding Major League Baseball's efforts to eradicate steriod usage among its players.  (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)

Baseball players are human beings.  They took an easy way, although illegal, to increase their pay.  Not only this, we glorified them for it.  Can we really blame them for doing so?

Is it any different than what goes on in government or Wall Street?  I find it odd we wave our finger at these men when we should probably look in a mirror.

Rep. Thomas Davis

Scolded those big, bad baseball players for putting needles in themselves, but divorced his wife, whom he had three kids with, in 2003 to marry his mentor and campaign manager, Jeannemarie Devolites. 

Jeannemarie was one of Davis' first hires at ICG, a firm that assists businesses in obtaining government contracts, right before marrying her.

His wife continues to work for ICG, which paid her $78,000 in 2005 for working 10 to 20 hours a week, primarily at home on her cell phone.  Must be nice.

Rep. Mark Souder

He was also at the steroid hearing, telling Sammy Sosa, Mark McGwire, Rafael Palmeiro, Curt Schilling, and Frank Thomas how steroids are bad.  He's never made a mistake before...or has he?

"Fundamentally, it's wrong," Souder said, after voting to "honor Christmas," of Islam because part of the Quran refers to killing infidels. "I find their religion offensive."

"The fundamentals of their religion is they want to kill Jews and wipe them off the face of the earth and any other allies. I simply am not going to praise a religion that believes that," Souder said.

"I believe Jews are God's chosen people," he continued. "It's fundamental in their faith, from the very beginning, that Jews are dogs and should be wiped from the face of the earth. Why is that great?"

As long as you do not put needles in yourself, honor Christmas, and believe in the same god as Souder, you are OK in his book.  Otherwise, you are offensive.

Sen. Jim Bunning

Where to start with this man?

In April 2006, Time magazine called him one of "America's Five Worst Senators" saying he "shows little interest in policy unless it involves baseball."  The article also stated Bunning's "bizarre behavior" in the 2004 Senate race. 

The 2004 Senate race put Bunning against Daniel Mongiardo. Bunning claimed Mongiardo "looked like one of Saddem Hussein's sons." He attended a debate via satellite because he refused to come in person where it was clear he was using a teleprompter. 

He also made unsubstantiated claims his wife was attacked by Mongiardo supporters and finally referred to Mongiardo as "limp wristed".

Bunning won the election by one percentage point. 

In October 2004, Bunning told reporters, "Let me explain something: I don't watch the national news, and I don't read the paper. I haven't done that for the last six weeks. I watch Fox News to get my information."

There is a good chance he is not reading this. 

Rep. Dan Burton

"We must educate our children about the dangers of drugs," Burton said in 1990, "and impose tough new penalties on dealers." 

In 1994, his son was arrested while transporting eight pounds of marijuana from Louisiana to Indiana.  Five months later police raided his son's apartment where he was found with a shotgun and to be growing 30 marijuana plants. 

The mandatory minimum sentence was five years in prison just for the gun, plus up to three years in prison under state law for all the marijuana.  Charges were, of course, dismissed. 

Burton was a "celebrity player" in the Bob Hope Classic in Palm Springs, Calif., where participants received free airline flights, meals and lodging, played in the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am (Burton had become the chairman of the House Committee Government Reform and Oversight, which was scheduled to soon award at least $5 billion in long-distance and local telephone and telecommunications contracts with the federal government.), and Burton and two aides flew to the island of Guam, which was paid for by the Guam government. 

In January 2007, the House passed a measure by a vote of 430-1 that banned members from accepting gifts and free trips from lobbyists.  Burton cast the sole nay vote. 

And if that wasn't enough, in March of 1995, during congressinional hearings on the U.S. War on Drugs, Burton said the U.S. military "should place an aircract carrier off the coast of Bolivia and crop dust the coca fields."

Bolivia is landlocked and has no coast.  Bolivian coca fields are blocked by something called the peaks of the Andes and F-18s cannot crop dust.  This derailed the War On Drugs and sparked major anti-American backfire in Bolivia.

Rep. Tom Lantos

On May 3, 2000, Lantos was involved in an automobile accident while driving on Capitol Hill. Lantos drove over a young boy's foot and then failed to stop his vehicle. He was later fined over the incident for inattentive driving.

In June 2007, Lantos called former German Chancellor Gerhard Schroder a "political prostitute" at the dedication ceremony of the Victims of Communism Memorial. 

In October 2007, Lantos said, "Europse was not as outraged by Auschwitz as by Guantanamo Bay."

He should probably find some kind of steroid for his mouth. 

Rep. William Lacy Clay

As a member of the Congressional Black Caucus, he refused the inclusion of white Congressman Steve Cohen from Tennessee saying, "Mr. Cohen asked for admission, and he got his answer. He's white and the Caucus is black—it's an unwritten rule.  It's understood."

In 2006, the law office of Michelle Clay, William's sister, received $51,800 in consulting fees from her brother's campaign funds, along with an additional $9,963 for reimbursments. 

In the 2004 election cycle, Michelle Clay's firm received $52,514 for consulting, and in 2002 Michelle Clay herself was paid $32,000 for campaign management and legal fees.  Clay's 2004 campaign reimbursed his father more than $6,000 for book purchases. 

Clay voted against the financial bailout in September of 2008.

Rep. John Sweeney

Sweeney helped to stop the third recount in Miami during the 2000 Presidential election.  President Bush nicknamed him "Congressman Kickass." 

In 2001, Sweeney crashed his 2001 Jeep Laredo into a utility pole.  He was not ticketed nor charged, and although witnesses claimed Sweeney had been drinking in a bar before the crash, he was given no sobriety test. 

On April 22, 2006, Sweeney appeared at a registered party at the Alpha Delta Phi fraternity of Union College.  Witnesses reported that, after leaving a bar, he appeared to be intoxicated. Sweeney denied it. 

On October 31, 2006, the Albany Times Union reported that it had obtained a document stating "the wife of U.S. Rep. John Sweeney called police last December to complain her husband was 'knocker her around' during a late-night argument at the couple's home."  A domestic incident report was filed. 

In November of 2007, Sweeney was charged with aggravated DWI.

Early on the morning of April 5, 2009, Sweeney was pulled over by state police for speeding.  He refused a breathalyzer test ordered by the officer, and according to a newspaper report, "Sweeney allegedly told the officers he would not pass the sobriety test, adding he was in 'big trouble.'"

There were other government officials at the steroid hearing, but I'm far too depressed to look into the awful things they have done in their lives.  I'd like to keep some faith in humanity. 

These are the men who are judging baseball players for trying to get ahead with steroids?  These men have used and abused their power in ways unimaginable and yet, they are the judge and jury. 

Unless you can say honestly you would not do something under the table to increase your way of life, there is no way we can act as though these baseball players are awful human beings.

Our problem is we made these men out to be gods and when they showed they were human, we jumped all over them. 

Baseball is just another business, it is not a farm system for heroes.


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